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Helping More Students Stay In School, Graduate And Find Success

McGuinty Government Joins With United Way To Expand Successful Pathways To Education Program To More Communities

Office of the Premier

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today said his government is helping more young people stay in school and build a brighter future by expanding the government's support for the successful Pathways to Education program.

"We need every one of our students at their best -- so they can succeed and continue to move Ontario forward," said Premier McGuinty. "Pathways to Education has been achieving outstanding results for young people in Regent Park -- we're proud to work with them to engage more youth in more communities."

Pathways to Education Canada is a charitable foundation that helps reduce poverty by lowering the dropout rate and increasing access to postsecondary education among disadvantaged young people. The program was developed by the Regent Park Community Health Centre in 2001, where it has significantly reduced dropout rates, increased graduation rates and boosted postsecondary enrolment.

"This investment will directly help more students graduate from high school and move on to university, college and apprenticeship placements," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne. "The Pathways program is another way Ontario will reach our target of having 85 per cent of our students graduating."

The McGuinty government has made a commitment to provide $19 million over four years to expand the Pathways to Education program. Today, the government is acting on this commitment, beginning with $2.3 million in 2007-08.

This investment is in addition to a $10-million contribution from the United Way. This will allow the program to expand in four communities -- Lawrence Heights and Rexdale in Toronto, and neighbourhoods in Kitchener and Ottawa.

"This investment is a tribute to the success of the Pathways program and will provide tremendous economic benefits to Ontario," said Carolyn Acker, Executive Director of Pathways to Education Canada. "It holds tremendous potential to improve the lives of thousands of young people in communities across the province."

"For United Way, the United Way/Pathways partnership is an opportunity to participate in one of the most successful community-based youth and educational attainment initiatives in North America," said Frances Lankin, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Toronto. "The partnership will also provide both organizations with the opportunity to increase the impact on these communities and to continue to learn from existing activities to support youth across Toronto."

"Our government believes that the best way to build a stronger Ontario is to invest in our people -- and that will continue to be the focus of all our actions as we move forward," said Premier McGuinty. "By continuing to work together, and lift one another up, Ontarians are sending a message that is clear, proud and strong. We believe in each other and, together, we will build prosperity for all."

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Education and Training Children and Youth